analysis and characterization



False Advertising: Thranduil

For my money, Thranduil is the best option—not necessarily to kill Bolg, but to be in that helping-Thorn/parallel fight position. Because seriously, that conflict between Thorin and Thranduil needs a resolution.

Unfortunately, I suspect this never occurred to the PTB because they don’t see Thranduil as a person. More a device. And his purpose in AUJ and DOS was make Thorin look like the most put-upon underdog, who is just treated so unfairly.

But if they’d treated Thranduil like the significant supporting character that he is, developed that conflict between him and Thorin—and all it implied—then keeping Thranduil on Ravenhill (alone or with his army), provides optimal fulfillment/resolution to what came before.

Even without development, though, Thranduil going up to Ravenhill sooner just has more oomph than whatever they think they’re doing with Legolas.

Characterization for Taylor

You know I tend to have a really hard time finding Worm fanfiction I actually like, and I’ve never really managed to figure out why.  I just knew that unlike most fiction I read (or watch) none of the stuff I found could really compare to the original.  I had an epiphany recently though and I’ve realized that it’s that most people seem to just be missing some kind of pivotal piece of Taylor’s character.  And so I’ve written up this huge rant about what I consider to be the basis of Taylor’s every action within Worm.  

Firstly; there are four pivotal pieces Taylor’s personality that never really change throughout the story, allthough some do become more or less prominent.  And that is her:

A) Selflessness

B) Goal-Orientedness

C) Ambitiousness

D) Intelligence

Now, Taylor’s selflessness is probably the most driving motivating urge she has. (People recognize this on some level, which is why I think we get so many Ward!Taylor AUs, but the other three traits listed are what make me believe it would never have really worked out, even if their wasn’t the whole ‘Shadow Stalker’ issue to contend with.)  It’s what  made an untried, untested, unconfident bug controlling master decide to challenge Lung on her first night out.  It’s what made her take on Coil.  It’s what made her throw herself at her enemies feet.  It’s what made her take up the good fight against all those S-class threats.  It’s what made her try her hardest to do good, even when she was a villain, even when it was misunderstood, even when it would have been easier to do nothing, or to do the opposite.  And maybe that might only be one half of Taylor’s kind of screwed up morals, and another half the way the trio dug at every bit of self-hood Taylor managed to scrape together for years… but still.  It’s the reason Taylor makes the choices she makes.  Even (or maybe most especially) the Machiavellian ones.   

Secondly, Taylor’s goal-oriented nature. This is, in essence, what makes Taylor so damned focused on ‘the big picture’.  Now the thing is, is that this in and of itself isn’t all that dangerous.  In fact lot’s of people have this trait! Politicians, lawyers, business execs, hell even gang leaders and prostitutes.  But the thing you have to understand about these people is that if you push them, too far, too fast, in just the right way, in just the right time, there is literally nothing they will not do to accomplish what they set out to.  These people weigh the pros and cons of every decision in their lives, and when things tip to far into the pros there is no moral line, no law, and no consequence that will stop them from doing what they feel they have to do.  

Thirdly, there are Taylor’s ambitions.  This really is what decides what goals exactly Taylor’s going to shoot for.  It’s the part of Taylor that said, yeah I’m going to keep going to school, no matter how hard it is, the part of her that says, yes, I’m going to be a hero, no matter how dangerous it may be, the part of her that says, yes I’m going to save the world, no matter how improbable that may be.  The part of her that looked at every opponent a hundred times stronger than her, a hundred times more experienced than her, and said: yeah I’m gonna fuck their shit up.  All of this? In conjunction with how goal-oriented she is? Yes it’s a frightening combination. 

Fourthly, but definitely not least, is how damn intelligent Taylor is.  The thing about those other three traits? Is that lots of people have them.  Hell lot’s of people have them in conjunction with each other!  But not half of them turn out to be as dangerous as Taylor is.  And that’s because of this.  Because she may not have a supercomputer for a brain, but she’s got that rare combination of tactical and strategic talent that allows her to take very bit of knowledge, skill, and power she has, and then munchkin the hell out of it.  This is the girl who using her brains, pepper spray, bugs, and a small team of villains specializing in smash and grab robbery, managed to take over a city.  This is the girl who killed Alexandria in an apoplectic rage.  This is the girl who beat off the S9 twice.  This is the girl who rotted off Lungs crotch and cut out his eyes.  This is the girl who took every minuscule tool and advantage offered to her, and saved the multiverse.  This is what makes Taylor, Taylor.  

I know this is entirely random, but one thing I’ve always admired about the Avatar: the last airbender series (more so the original, lok to a lesser extent) is the origin and demonstration of power in a character. Their bending, their skills, or their ferocity are shown through action and through the character realistically manipulating their bodies and their surroundings, rather than taking the cheap route to illustrate improvement through superficial means like an outfit change, a magical transformation, or inadvertently aging up the character or exaggerating that character’s traits to excess. For example, in Naruto, the stronger a ninja character gets, the flashier their ninjutsu gets and the more physical alteration they experience (losing an arm, changing eyes, getting taller, tattoos, releasing a giant mystical monster, creating balls of energy the size of asteroids, cut scenes filled with contorted faces, etc.). All of this is to show progress in fighting power and maturity, but atla does this more subtly and more effectively in my opinion . Rather than constantly having to “one-up” past incarnations of a character'a strength in looks, which is difficult and gets cheesy/ridiculous, the character and their design remains almost entirely constant in appearance (aside from the avatar state which is literally just glowing slightly). Even the materials that they interact with are limited to the four elements (plus extra like blood, metal, lava, lightning, etc.), unlike chi or magic in pieces like Naruto. This forces the writers to show true power through HOW the characters physically use their resources (technique) and through demonstrations of personal, cognitive, and emotional development (intelligence and motives) - instead of through a change in the actual resources to “represent” progress. It just feels more natural, more profound, and more genuine for a character to change within themselves versus outside of themselves, and it creates a more rewarding experience for the consumer, causing them to invest more deeply into this character that remains visually familiar yet evolves with you on the deeper level and flaunts their development in a realistic way as the story continues, not remaining stagnant as physically unchanged characters in Naruto do. Idk, this is just me rambling on a Tuesday night I guess - I love atla, I love naruto, and I love characterization, and I felt like sharing


Attack on Titan and the Seven Deadly Sins

I had an anon ask me recently to categorize the Attack on Titan characters as the seven deadly sins and hoo-boy did I struggle with that! 

Since the seven deadly sins don’t include things like “sick desire to humiliate”, “surprising ruthlessness" or “will happily stab you in the gut for science and take detailed notes while watching you die”, I found them woefully inadequate for our story. So rather than a literal interpretation,  I decided to present them this way.

I think the images are self-explanatory, but my detailed reasoning is below the cut.

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anonymous asked:

Couldn't the changes in Len's character in Legends be due to how he fell for Sara? With the one deleted scene they released it looked like it was almost love at first sight. He was kinder and more honest and open with her than anyone else including Lisa and Mick. No one saw through and understood him like she did ever before. His getting rid of Mick was more about him trying to hurt Sara than the team. And she was the one who got him to make up with Mick. It never would have happened without her

Anon, there is so much wrong here that I very strongly considered not answering because the only things I can say are to disagree with you and that’ll probably make you angry.

But, well, I was a little angry too, particularly at the line “His getting rid of Mick was more about him trying to hurt Sara than the team” but I decided not to let anger rule my thoughts. Nonetheless, I’m gonna answer because I feel it’s worth a discussion for why I think differently, and why your post struck a bit of a nerve. Sorry if this isn’t what you want to hear, but I really do feel it warrants a meta/commentary response.

First, no I don’t think all the changes in him are due to Sara and I’d say that’s an oversimplification of how and why a person changes. It strips Len of those changes being about him at all really, taking away some of his autonomy in making the changes. If you change solely for someone else and not for yourself, that’s not sustainable. Len changed for himself and through the influence of a host of different factors, and to reduce it to largely one thing misses so much of the complexity of how and why people change in reality. And I’m not saying that falling in love can’t change a person (through the different viewpoints they take on and through the trust they develop), but I also don’t read Len as having been in love with Sara. People, a single person, can help catalyze change in us even without being in love, of course, but it’s still missing some of the point to make it all about that other person. Change happens internally.  

And there are a lot of the factors that could plausibly, canonically, go into him changing. I mean, I maintain that many of the changes that bothered me (the very subtle characterization ones that tilt him more to a slytherin-hufflepuff than a slytherin-ravenclaw) are ones that came in from the writers wanting to have him work with a team and taking over his character from a different team, losing a bit in translation. But in canon, if we try to explain those changes, I really would not ever want to attribute them to solely one character.

I feel that if we explain the canonical changes in Len, we can point to a couple of major factors, and his budding friendship with Sara is one of those (because it shows him letting people in and believing that change and overcoming one’s past is actually possible, because it’s something she is doing and demonstrating). A few others are Barry’s staunch belief in Len’s goodness and his willingness to help Len, working with Lisa and Mick again and the effect that has on him, being free of his father in a final way, and working with a team of people who’s wellbeing he feels responsible for (especially Jax). I’ve made posts that talk about most of those factors in one way or another though, so I won’t delve into them here.

More specific to the points you raise, I disagree that he demonstrates anything approaching love at first sight in the deleted scene.

Honestly the only thing I read into that is that he a) is trying to get a feel for people on the team and doesn’t quite know what to make of Sara yet, except that she might be the only one aside from Mick he has anything in common with (she shuts that down with the reincarnated point), and b) that he’s a bit intrigued at her willingness to bite back, but maybe a little annoyed at how barbed she is with him. (For the record we literally never see him even glance in the direction of her ass so I don’t get where that line is from.)

I also strongly disagree that he’s “kinder and more honest and open with her than anyone else including Lisa and Mick”. I don’t even know where you get that idea, to be frank. Len loves his sister to death and would do anything for her. He would never raise a weapon to her like he does to Sara in 1x15 and there’s zero reason to suspect he’d be less honest with her than with Sara (or anyone else). If you try to raise the point that he didn’t tell her his dad kidnapped him, I’d counter by saying he didn’t really have a chance and wanted to protect her. He also happened to lie to Sara (alongside the rest of the team) about having killed Mick. 

If you want to talk about Len opening up about his past to people like his heart-to-heart with Sara while they were freezing to death, he’s even similarly expository with Ray (who I maintain he ultimately dislikes) without much prompting.

Originally posted by coldsflash

Len also lies to Sara’s face at least once or twice, particularly about Mick. “Everyone okay between you two?” “Peachy.” Even if it’s unbarbed and obvious, he’s not really being honest (with himself or with her, and they both know it). He’s not opening up to her.

With Mick, Len is admittedly not always honest, or fair. 

But that’s in part because he takes a high degree of responsibility for Mick, maybe more than Mick wants him to. He doesn’t always expect Mick to make decisions in his own best interest, and Len has a very high need for control and believes he’ll make the best decision for his friend. 

Is it okay? Not necessarily. But I don’t think he means that he’s largely dishonest with Mick or that there isn’t a huge amount of trust and understanding between them. 

Mick’s the one who knows Len’s intentions for going in the trip, knows where Len’s head is at, is the one at Len’s side who can literally finish his sentences and move in sync with him. They have one-word codes like ‘Alexa’ and ‘like that time in Chicago’ that tell them everything they need to know about a situation. 30+ years of history will do that with someone. 

Actually, the whole ‘pulling the cold gun out’ thing is neat with respect that. He pulls it on Mick, Mick pulls the heat gun out, they have a stand off for a minute. Len appears to think about it and calm down and come up with the next step for what to do, or else it gives him space to remember to be the reasonable one. Mick gets this too because he doesn’t ever pull his trigger, just waits for Len to decide to end the stand off, every time we’ve seen them have one. But with Sara, she called his bluff. She didn’t understand why he’s doing this and what he gets out of pulling out his gun and having a stand off with someone so she calls him on it (which is fair, I’m not saying she’s in the wrong). And maybe it’s all dysfunctional as hell of him, but I think it demonstrates how Mick understands Len better than Sara does. He moves along to the beats Len is playing in a way that Sara won’t (which is fine because no one needs to, but you can’t tell me that Mick doesn’t understand Len inside and out, up and down).

Which is why I so strongly shirk at the idea that Len ‘got rid of Mick’ (just that in the first place, he didn’t get rid of him), more for Sara than for anyone else. Len marooned Mick for the stated reason of worrying what would happen to his sister if Mick went back to 2016. He knows Mick has impulse control problems and anger issues. He knows that he himself acts like a check/balance on Mick, so dropping him off in 2016 could have some high-damage consequences. So it was about protecting the team, and protecting their loved ones in 2016 (particularly Lisa, the person Mick is most likely to go after because it’s more Len he wants revenge on than any of the other team members). Beyond that canonically-stated reason for marooning Mick, it could also have come down to a lot of personal shit between Len and him. 

To the extent that once he chose not to kill him, Len always planned to return for Mick (till death got in the way), he probably intended for the marooning to be a very short cool-down period for Mick before Len picked up back up and brought him home. A “okay you betrayed us you jackass and it fucking hurt and I’m pissed but I’ve had time to think about it and you’ve been stuck here to think about it for a day, so now let’s go home alright?”.

I mean, you can read a lot more into it than that with respect to their relationship, but I don’t think it’s valuable to bring anyone else into that. It was about Len and Mick, and to a lesser extent about Lisa, and then about the team as a unit. There’s no evidence it was about anyone else, and certainly no evidence that Len was worried Mick would hurt Sara if he stuck around.

As for her being the reason they made up, I agree she had a part in that, but I also think it would have happened eventually in the same way regardless. She was a catalyst though, and showed empathy and deep understanding in that situation. I think that’s highly to her credit, actually, and I’m not sure why you’d make that about Len’s character changes when it really shows her own development and insight. 

But Len and Mick have been at serious odds before, were apart for a few years even, and still manage to find their way back to one another. They always do, with or without anyone’s help, and being confined on a ship together was going to press the issue sooner rather than later. Sara didn’t convince Len to lay down his life for Mick and die if that’s what Mick wanted from him. Len’s love for Mick did that, full stop.

tl;dr - Mick and Lisa understand Len better than Sara does as per canon, and he canonically demonstrates more honesty with his sister and more mutual understanding with Mick than he does with her. There’s nothing to suggest love at first sight (intrigue, at most) and there’s nothing at all to suggest that him marooning Mick had anything to do with Sara herself. The implication Len changed solely/mostly because of her is just a large oversimplification that strips him of personal autonomy in making those changes.


The Superlatively Superfluous Adventures of Legolas and Tauriel

Dateline: Dale (5/40)

Plans and deception in the season finale: Ludo and Glossaryck's gamble against Toffee.

I promised a third analysis on the season finale of Star vs. the Forces of Evil in which I discuss Ludo’s lying and speculate on Glossaryck’s whereabouts. It’s taken me a while to get my thoughts in order.

In the meantime, while I was thinking, I read a very good analysis of Ludo’s characterization which, while it has some flaws, mostly makes some excellent observations about Ludo. The blog also has an interesting comparison made in the season finale. Both of these posts form an intriguing puzzle piece which I will make use of in this analysis. My thanks to the author.

Let’s first return to the issue I raised in my comparison and contrast analysis – that of Ludo’s lies.

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behind-the-blow  asked:

Hello! Your character analysis stuff is so well written and spot on! It makes my Matt and Trey analysis stuff seem total shit XD Have you studied psychology or something? Would you be interested in doing one about Stan and Kyle's friendship and how/ why they go from being best friends to threatening to shoot or beat each other up?

Hi! You’re very kind, but no, I’ve never studied psychology or anything. I just really love South Park and I think about the characters a lot. Too much, probably. And nonsense, I love your Matt and Trey analyses!

Stan and Kyle are my two favorite characters so of course I’ll discuss them and their friendship. I think these two complement each other very well and balance each other out. Normally, they’re attached at the hip, but these Super Best Friends have had an argument or two (or three or four). They’ve fought or betrayed or called each other out on five different occasions, if my memory serves: “Prehistoric Ice Man,” “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce,” “Crack Baby Athletic Association,” “You’re Getting Old/Ass Burgers,” and “Butterballs.”

The first two episodes are pretty useless in terms of analysis and characterization. “Prehistoric Ice Man” is the episode where Stan and Kyle have their first real fight. However, this is early South Park and the boys haven’t developed their distinct personalities yet. During season 2, Stan and Kyle are pretty much the same kid, which means the fight doesn’t add any merit to their friendship. “Mystery of the Urinal Deuce” is also an exception because Stan betrays Kyle to protect himself from getting in trouble for crapping in the urinal. I don’t think he intends to target Kyle in any way, but Kyle gets caught up in the plot and won’t stop digging, in that Kyle way of his. Stan sort of has his back against the wall here and pulls a gun on his friend to save himself. That doesn’t make it okay, but it’s certainly understandable, and clear Stan didn’t do so because of any malice towards Kyle.

Now things get a little more interesting. I’ll compare “Crack Baby Athletic Association” and “Butterballs” because they’re very similar in the way Stan and Kyle disagree. “CBAA” has Kyle agreeing with Cartman and acting immorally so he seeks validation from Stan. He rants and raves in Stan’s ear about why what he’s doing is okay when he’s really trying to convince himself. He seeks Stan’s acceptance because Stan is the closest thing to himself he can find. If Stan says its fine, he can quit feeling guilty. However, Stan says “You sound like Cartman” and stares deadpan the rest of the time because that’s all he has to say. He knows Kyle enough to be aware that comparing him to Cartman is the ultimate insult and this comment will cause him to sort himself out.

On the flipside, Stan’s ego gets the best of him again in “Butterballs” and Kyle is the only one who tries to make him see that. He points out that the anti-bullying video is more about Stan helping himself than helping victims of bullying and repeatedly tells him to be careful he doesn’t wind up jacking it in San Diego. This sequence is played for laughs, but it shows just how intuitive Kyle is. He knows about the history of Stan’s big head and correctly predicts what will happen if it goes too far because he’s seen all this before. He knows Stan insanely well and is smart enough to see patterns in his best friend’s behavior that will spell trouble so he warns him because he cares.

Now, before the next segment, I want to say that I adore Kyle. He’s a good character, probably the best person on the show morality wise, but…not a super great friend. Stan has his issues, but he is a way better friend than Kyle. I couldn’t analyze Stan and Kyle’s friendship without ranting a bit about Kyle’s abandonment of Stan in “You’re Getting Old” and “Ass Burgers.” I’m still furious at Kyle for how quickly he turns his back on Stan during his depression. Kyle doesn’t even try to help Stan in his time of need, which is particularly frustrating if you look at how often Stan goes out of his way for Kyle. He schemes to get Cartman’s kidney to save Kyle’s life in “Cherokee Hair Tampon,” writes a hit song so Kyle can return to South Park in “Smug Alert,” and investigates the girls’ list to help Kyle’s self-esteem in “The List.” I don’t even think those are all the instances where Stan sticks his neck out for Kyle. And then, after all that, Kyle suddenly decides “I don’t care to be in this friendship anymore” the minute Stan needs him? That’s pretty shitty, but I think it makes sense if you look at Kyle’s character.

Kyle certainly has relationships with the people in his life and cares about their well-being, but his #1 concern is the right thing. If he sees someone being wronged, he will intervene, even if that person is Cartman and even if the wrongdoer is someone he loves. He is able to look at a situation objectively and figure out the right course of action. This mentality is what makes Kyle so great, but it’s also what contributes to his self-righteousness. I think, in Kyle’s mind, he thinks the right thing to do is cut Stan loose. Stan’s depression is sad, but it’s also a huge bummer to be around and he feels Stan is harming his friends without meaning to.

Meanwhile, Stan uses his heart rather than his head in decision-making. Often, he will only get involved in a cause if it affects him personally. He leads a charge to protect whales and dolphins because he loves animals, encourages people to drive Hybrids and save the planet because his best friend moved away, and campaigns for gay rights because his dog is gay. This sounds a little more selfish and, I guess it is, but most of us are guilty of it. However, Stan’s heart pushes him to protect his loved ones (i.e. Kyle) past the point when others would have given up.

Part of this is because Stan is extremely group-oriented. He needs a support system and clings to them no matter the situation. In “Raisins,” when he becomes goth he latches on to a new group of friends that share his values. In “You’re Getting Old,” Stan claims that the only thing that isn’t shitty to him are his friends. Kyle is a little more independent in that he can probably survive without being part of a clique. However, I think this is where the difference lies: Stan needs a friend group, but Kyle needs Stan specifically. Looking back at all the times Stan has saved Kyle’s ass, it makes me think that no matter how outgoing or badass Kyle is, he really needs Stan. Who else is going to confront a fraud psychic to convince him not to go to Jewish boarding school? Not Cartman or Kenny.

So there you have it. This was long as hell, but I wanted to get all my thoughts on the page. Basically Kyle is the head and Stan is the heart and neither can operate without the other. It’s what makes them such an iconic duo and a strong team. Maybe you can take this and write an analysis on how this compares to Matt and Trey’s friendship. I hope I answered your question to your satisfaction!

Am I the only one thinks that the most recent episode of TMNT could have a bit of symbolism aimed specifically at Leo?

What’s wrong with you Wingnut, in the comics, you’re a hero!”

“I still am!”

In recent seasons, Leo has gotten steadily further and further from his original characterization; becoming brash, reckless, and prideful. He’s constantly being written as the opposite of a good leader, despite the show continuing to insist that he is one. Leo still thinks of himself as a hero though, despite all that.

Just like Wingnut here^^^

A hero, formerly an individual of respect and good moral, is corrupted by an influx of power; twisting him into the very thing he originally fought against. The hero remains blind to this though, and still thinks of himself as the protagonist.

Sound a little familiar? Leo has been pushed into the role of the un-failing hero, even though he hasn’t displayed those qualities in a long while now. The attention the producers and marketers of the show put into him could be read as the “Power” that has corrupted Leo’s character, and the blindness to his own corruption that Wingnut had could be seen as a parallel to Leo’s own.

The line “-in the comics, you’re a hero!” could be a jab at IDW Leo versus 2012 Nick Leo. I’m not completely caught up in the IDW comics myself, but up to vol. 9 Leo’s character has stayed fairly consistent; excluding the brain washing incident. Though that could also be included in this symbolism.

Its likely I’m reading too far into this though, and we could only hope this was a sly bit of symbolism snuck into an already well done episode.

But unfortunately,

New policy: I’m not going to answer asks about C@ptain C@n@ry unless they’re specific to canonical analysis, meta, or characterization points. 

I’m especially not going to answer asks trying to convince me that Len did something in S1 because of his love for Sara, because the only way I can answer those asks is with disagreement and negativity and I’m tired of shitting on a ship I don’t even care about and didn’t mind the canon presentation of at all.


The Necklace-MacGuffin Idiot Ball: the mountain C (19/20)

So, yeah. Thranduil’s gems had the potential to progress conflict among the Dwarves, and internal conflict among individual Dwarves (like Fili and Kili). Go figure.

Of course, that requires using said gems, not just dropping a line about them here and there.

Had dinner with my friend who’s halfway through a read through last night and she said, “HBP is my favorite because I love anything about Snape.” And she talked about how much the books emphasize Snape’s hatred for Harry so much more than the movies, then mentioned his emotional outburst at the end of PoA. And she said all of this without any derision, just calm analysis of his characterization.


And it reminded me, as these conversations often do, that fans and fandom are very different. Fans can see the darkness in Snape’s character and still love him for how complex he is. They don’t feel the need to qualify his negative attributes because they understand that the books have already done that.

Family of Rogues Scene Analysis #1

Okay there is SO MUCH to say about this episode so I’m splitting it into a few posts (scene analyses and one to two broader posts about relationships and themes). 

Here’s the post for the “office-rescue” scene.

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The Superlatively Superfluous Adventures of Legolas and Tauriel

Dateline: Dale (19/40)

pedestrianfootbridge  asked:

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on Mick Rory's speech patterns? (If you've already answered this in another post then sorry!). In particular I think (at least I've noticed it once or twice) that he sometimes doesn't use contractions and as a result the sentence comes out a little awkwardly (ex: in his first episode he says "what *are* you talking about" instead of "what're" and the result stresses the word "are" a bit) Idk, it could just be the actor's way of talking?

Mick Rory’s speech patterns are a fucking nightmare to parse. Honestly. I’ve been trying to pin them down since The Flash season 1 and they’re a goddamn moving target. A big part of why is because they changed his speech patterns for Legends (along with his characterization, a little bit, and Len’s). 

Dominic Purcell has also said in an interview that he didn’t hit his stride with Mick until they were filming the first Legends’ episode, and that’s when he really came to understand the character and when it fell naturally into place. So that’s bound to have affected his speech patterns some. It also doesn’t help that his accent occasionally drops and his Australian side slips out (I always laugh when it happens; it’s been happening more on this season of Legends).

But okay. This got crazy freaking long so I’m putting it under a cut. 

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